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Tuesday, 18 April 2017

The Locket and a Five Taka Note

When Abdul Mkith left Bangladesh with nothing other than his clothes, the locket his mother placed around his neck, and a five taka note, neither he nor his family had any idea what lay in store for him.

Abdul before he was sent to then UK
In October 2012, an English teacher contacted me.  He told me he had been working with a boy who was keen to tell his tale to the world. I met with Abdul, then twenty-four and was mmediately drawn to this personable and attractive young man.   Bit by bit he told me his story and supplied me with the notes that the authorities held on him.
He left a family where he was loved and pampered and sent to an "Aunt" and "Uncle"who his family trusted to love and care for him the way they had done. The truth was different. The "Aunt" and "Uncle" effectively sold him into a life of what can only be described as a horror story.

It’s been extremely brave of this young man to revisit his past and lay it bare for the world to read. He not only wants to expose what’s going on in this country under our noses, but also warn parents from third world countries who believe they are doing the best for their children by sending them to the west.

Names of individuals have been changed, but otherwise The Locket and A Five Taka Note is his true story, as he told it to me.
Of course, never having been to Bangladesh, I needed to get a ‘feel’ for the country. Through the magic of You Tube, I visited the places Abdul spoke about, I saw the men fishing in the fields, gathering the dhal, and herding the cattle over the paddy stalks. I woke up to the beauty of a Bangladesh morning, saw the early sun shine through the palm leaves, heard the twitters of the birds, heard the call to prayer.
Abdul's true story
I watched trains laden with men and boys hanging onto the outside and riding on the roof, and I travelled through the streets of Bazar and Dhaka, and attended a Muslim wedding.
You Tube is a very handy tool.
That was the good bits.

Unfortunately other localities in Abdul’s story can only be envisaged. I have an eleven year old grandson and imaging the horror of what Abdul went through at the same age was hard, but it is important to see his life as it was through his eyes and understand his coping mechanisms.

It is not an easy read, it was not easy to write. How many other children out there are in this situation and never escape?
It is estimated that at least 129 refugee children have gone missing since the Calais Jungle has been disbanded. No one knows the real numbers. No one knows what they are enduring every day.

.The Locket and a five taka Note will be published next month both as an ebook and a paperback, and I’m sure we all wish Abdul every success in his future life

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